My landlord won't fix the windows in my unit so that they close. I've been here for a month and have phoned him repeatedly.

Asked almost 4 years ago - Los Angeles, CA

Basically, the guy assured me that all would be fixed when I moved in. Well the day I was to move in the last family was still there. The place hadn't been cleaned as promised and it's been an up hill battle since. One month later rugs still haven't been done and windows still won't close and it raining and cold now. I just relocated from NorCal and finding another place with move-in cost wold be impossible. What are my options? Can I with hold rent until it's done or move? When I told him that I didn't feel safe as I have been harrassed by the other residents here as well and warned "be careful". I asked prior to moving in if there would be any problems as I am not the same ethnicity as the others. He assured me that there wouldn't be. When I told him I wanted out of the lease he said no!

Attorney answers (2)

  1. Pamela Koslyn

    Contributor Level 20

    Answered . For healtha nd safety issues like the window, use the "repair and deduct" remedy, as per the article linked below.

    Disclaimer: Please note that this answer does not constitute legal advice, and should not be relied on, since each state has different laws, each situation is fact specific, and it is impossible to evaluate a legal problem without a comprehensive consultation and review of all the facts and documents at issue. This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship.

  2. Douglas Whitney Weitzman

    Contributor Level 13

    Answered . An apartment must be in habitable condition, and anything relating to the health and safety of the tenant is included.

    I believe that having working windows is clearly intended to be included in this requirement, because of the elements, cold, rain, heat, could affect you if you couldn't open or close the window.

    I would write a demand letter to the landlord and give him a reasonable time to fix the window. Since this is a health, safety issue, a few days, perhaps 5 is sufficient (30 days is usually the amount of time to repair). If the landlord does not fix it, you may hire someone to do it and deduct the cost of this from the rent.

    I am pretty sure that you are allowed to do this only twice in a year and only up to one month's rent, but I would check with the city that you are living in for a more accurate description of what you are allowed to do. Each city is different.

    Do not withhold rent until and unless you have followed this "repair or deduct" requirement.

    You could write an email reminding your landlord of this law and perhaps if you use the internet you can find links to the requirement for your city.

    This answer is intended for educational purposes only. If you desire legal advice, please contact an attorney of your choosing.

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